BEIJING WAG PROFILES - The Reserves (Individual Alternates and the Wild Card Alternate)

6:46 AM

Welcome to the first in a series of profiles of the individual qualifiers and those who are vying for the opportunity to represent their country at the Games, with special reports once the official teams have been announced. I've decided to work my way backwards starting with a brief introduction to the Reserves.

IVANA KOVACOVA (SVK) - 16 year old Ivana (see left, photo from Gymnastics Slovakia and taken in May) is the first reserve for the Olympics. Her first international event was in 2005 and at the 2007 World Championships Ivana was 85th All-Around (51.775), 102nd on Beam (13.475), 163rd on floor (11.800), 100th on bars (13.225) and 26th on vault (12.887).

She is an elegant and stylish worker and I cannot wait to see more from her. At the recent Cottbus World Cup Adela was 5th on Beam with a 15.075, and was also 5th at Doha with a 14.625. At the Maribor Cup Sajn qualified 4th into the Beam final, however finished a disappointing 8th. At the 2008 Euros Sajn was 16th on beam - the only apparatus which she contested with a score of 14.625. At the 2007 Worlds, she was 86th AA (51.775), 95th on BB (13.550), 78th on floor (13.275) and 135th on UB (12.125). You can check out her floor routine uploaded by Gymboost from the 2007 Stuttgart World Cup floor final here and her beam routine from the Cottbus World Cup (thanks to stajerctv) here.

LUISA GALIULINA (UZB) - At the 2007 Worlds Luisa was 87th AA (51.775), 45th on Balance Beam (14.475), 145th on floor (12.225) and 129th on bars with 12.325). I have watched her floor routine from these her first World Championships and do feel she could better from some more experience and really needs to work on her dance. Her head coach is listed on FIG as Svetlana Kuznetsova with the assistant coach being Elena Kuznetsova.

16 year old Sidney was 89th AA (51.600) at the 2007 World Championships in Stuttgart, scoring 13.325 on beam (98th), 12.575 on floor (124th) and a 12.250 on bars (130th). At the 2007 Junior PanAms Sidney was 13th AA (52.483), 5th on vault (13.575), 7th on bars (12.850), and 5th on floor with a 14.125. At the 2008 Doha World Cup event Sidney came 5th on floor exercise which you can see at this link courtesy of Youtube user rainmonkey03.

And Reserve Continent (Africa) URSULA BOTHA (RSA) -
24 year-old Ursula is a gymnast from Tuks University and is coached by Louis Fourie. Ursula has attended four world championships between 2002 and 2007. Her results from the 2007 Worlds are 99th AA (50.500), 141st BB (12.775), 110th on floor with a 12.725 and 134th on bars (12.150). You can see her floor routine to "Hey Big Spender" courtesy of tumblefoot here.

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